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In Babel's ShadowMultilingual Literatures, Monolingual States$
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Brian Lennon

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665013

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665013.001.0001

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Language as Capital

Language as Capital

Chapter:
(p.27) 1 Language as Capital
Source:
In Babel's Shadow
Author(s):

Brian Lennon

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816665013.003.0002

This chapter discusses English, as cultural capital useful in negotiation with speakers of other languages, and for displaying powers of appropriation or waste with respect to foreign languages. The English language as capital is considered an inherited wealth for native speakers and an object of desire for foreigners. It is also advantageous in the language politics of published books sold in the international market. Literary writers and their brokers enjoy a substantial transnational market for books written in English, as publication industries cooperate with national markets to translate English books into published books. Any work written in English that does not deviate from standard English can potentially gain access to this material distribution network.

Keywords:   plurilingualism, capital, transnational market, English language, language politics

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